One Direction’s Harry Styles seems to have a sort of calling, or at least a driving passion for becoming a legendary icon. Could Styles be the one — like a rock and roll messiah perhaps? A rock messiah has possibly been foretold long ago, as the phrase seems to have cropped up from time to time throughout rock history, usually from the mouths of more obscure artists. There were many songs by that title throughout the decades, and with more than a few mentions in lyrics here and there.
What is a rock and roll messiah? No one knows for sure until each of his kind makes himself known, but it’s not a religious thing. It has nothing to do with Jesus.
Is One Direction’s Harry Styles a rock and roll messiah? It’s hard to tell, so early in Harry’s career, but lately, Styles inner Jim Morrison is showing just a bit.
The phrase “rock and roll messiah” was used in connection with Jim Morrison, who wasn’t anything like Jesus, but Morriston definitely had something very special to give the world, even so. It is just about music, and how music influences society.
One Direction, and especially Harry Styles, have gathered a huge following of fans, even though their music hasn’t really made any huge statement yet. But, the world is listening to One Direction, so now would be the time for a major musical statement. Harry has made it clear, with words and actions, that he intends to make his solo album that kind of statement.
A rock and roll messiah should be someone who brings great music that changes the direction that music is going in overall. This is someone who wants to revolutionize music, and influence culture and subculture through music.
One Direction’s Harry Styles has been looking for a new sound. Harry has been studying music and going back to the roots of early rock and roll. Does Styles have it in him to revolutionize today’s music industry? Let’s pray that Styles has what it takes, because the people need the inspiration only good music can bring.
A rock and roll messiah could be someone who inspires a movement with a new style of music, with deep prophetic lyrics, a unique musical style, and hard hitting riffs that shake the heart and soul of mankind out of slumber. The late Jim Morrison did that, and if there has ever been a rock messiah, Morrison fit the bill.
Could One Direction’s Harry Styles be a fit for the Rock and Roll Messiah? It’s hard to tell actually, considering the diverse and obscure references in songs, and the odd songs by that title, including Arizona Baby – “Rock and Roll Messiah.” The song’s lyrics are extremely hard to catch. Readers can see this bizarre combination of the music of Arizona Baby with a Clint Eastwood movie below. Yes, it’s strange, and who can pick out those lyrics? A band called Helmet also recorded a “Rock and Roll Messiah” song in 1991. Zin Vetro recorded a completely different song by this title as well in 2014.
“Rock and Roll Messiah” is featured on the Arizona Baby album, The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth. The album was recorded in Spain in 2012 according to Discogs, and the overall sound is not bad, but apparently no one ever transcribed the lyrics. It’s quite hard to make out what the song is even about just from listening. It is a pity. The song feels like another obscure prophecy of things to come. Arizona Baby may have been onto something.
Harry Styles of One Direction certainly seems to be onto something. Harry’s been making a whole lot of contacts withing the music world, on both sides of the pond, so to speak, or more accurately both sides of the Atlantic.
Harry Styles has been meeting with Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Mick Jagger on the English side, and such diverse bands as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kings of Leon here in the states. There are a lot of others that Styles is becoming involved with as well.
The rock and roll messiah references have slipped in and out of music talk for decades. It was suggested in the last decade that U2 singer Bono was the Rock and Roll Messiah because of his humanitarian efforts. Chad E. Seales, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discusses that in a scholarly paper on Questa.
But Chad’s rock and roll messiah argument for Bono does not necessarily relate well to the context one generally hears that phrase at all. Sadly, U2’s music is, arguably, not as revolutionary in style or lyrical content, and while his social, religious, and political ideas are very benevolent, they are hardly new ideas. Yes, Bono is unique, but is he unique enough to be compared to the likes of Jim Morrison?
The title rock and roll messiah is not given easily, and Harry Styles is not there yet either. Harry is young and he does have that potential if he can get his music up to par and his image to incorporate a deeper message. Styles will need to develop a lot musically and master the cryptic double meanings and weightier subject matter, lyrically.
Yes, One Direction’s previous music was very commercial too. But Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson, as Zayn Malik so famously complained, didn’t have a choice, or a way to step away from the pre-packaged formula until now.
Has the rock and roll messiah finally come of age? Has he finally thrown off the velvet shackles of the music industry, to finally show what he can do for the world?
Harry Styles of One Direction seems to be trying to do what a rock and roll messiah should do. Harry is studying the roots of the music. Mr. Styles is meeting with the people who forged rock and roll. Perhaps most importantly, Harry has the ear of the younger generation already, as well as the approval of the founders of rock. Styles could influence the course of music history because the name Harry Styles has the influence already.
A rock and roll messiah loves to perform. It is like a compulsion or an addiction, according to the lyrics of Live, on “Stage” transcribed on Lyrics Mode. He can’t give it up, no matter what.
“The truth is gonna give up the world If you can give up the stage… He was a rock and roll messiah. I was just staring into the light, messiah, messiah, messiah. Gimme the stage, gimme the stage. Messiah, messiah, messiah.”
Harry Styles recently said that he loved the stage, and performing in huge arenas. Harry gets a natural high, just from being out there. Read more about this in the Inquisitr.
The concept of a rock and roll messiah is also about philosophy in lyrics. It’s not just about a standard social ideology like charity. It is about developing a philosophy within the lyrical content that will see this budding new generation through good times and bad. At least that is what rock did, for previous generations, but now, the world is different, and one could hardly expect young kids to find solace in their grandmother’s music. New times call for a revolutionary new sound.
Harry Styles does lack the same spirit as the original rockers, though. Perhaps it will not be necessary this time. Originally, rock was built on rebellion, revolution, and rage. It was about taking a stand against war, corruption, and overall hypocrisy within society. It was also about sex, drugs, and violence.
Wouldn’t a Rock and Roll Messiah be rougher than Harry Styles? He should be angry, right? There is as much war, corruption and hypocrisy in the world as ever.
Harry Styles of One Direction is a man known for his politeness, his gentleness, and his kindness. How will Styles lead this musical revolution? If the new musical messiah were like the old spirit, wouldn’t the messiah have appeared at Occupy Wall Street or some other great protests? But wait, we have to go back further, and remember that all of this anger came later. In the beginning, it was about peace and love. Still, Harry
Still, Harry Styles should have some reference to Occupy, Black Lives Matter, Brexit, war, terrorism or economic inequality, on his new albums. Rock and Roll Messiah’s needs to reflect counter-culture views of world events.
RELATED REPORTS FROM THE INQUISITR
The Beatles started out much as Harry Styles’ band, One Direction. They were four relatively innocent boys singing about wanting to hold a girl’s hand. Jim Morrison, though not ever really innocent, arrived on the California coast with a notebook full of poems he’d been working on since childhood, and it was those amazing poems that were the source materials for The Doors’ lyrics.
Previous rock and roll messiahs were perhaps what happens when the innocence of childhood, grows up to discover that all is not right with the world. The world slaps them down and then they stand up in protest. Perhaps, though, not this time?
One Direction’s Harry Styles is polite, and the whole world just seems to embrace Harry. How will it work this time, with the rock and roll messiah embraced, rather than scorned? Of course, the music hasn’t come out yet, so time will tell.
Where will Harry Styles of One Direction lead the music if he is a real rock and roll messiah?
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]